A Bride from the Bush

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A Bride from the Bush
Two pages of a book, the one on the left depicting a woman wearing a hat and the one on the right reading "A Bride from the Bush Ernest Wm Hornung"
Title page
Author E. W. Hornung
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Ivory Series
Subject Australia–United Kingdom relations
Published 1890 (Smith, Elder & Co.)

A Bride from the Bush is the first novel written by E. W. Hornung.[1] He started writing the book while working as a tutor for Charles Joseph Parsons in Mossgiel Station, New South Wales, Australia.[2] The novel was initially published by Smith, Elder & Co. as a serial in the Cornhill Magazine, and then published in book format by the same company in October 1890.[3] As with Tiny Luttrell and The Unbidden Guest, two of Hornung's other early novels, A Bride from the Bush points out flaws in British society by presenting the country through an Australian perspective.[4] A reviewer from The New York Times called the novel "a most piquant contrast between civilization and crudity".[5] The writer Thomas Alexander Browne called the titular character of A Bride from the Bush "a libel to Australian womankind".[6] A Punch editor made the opposite claim, arguing that the protagonist of the novel is more kind-hearted and attractive than actual Australians.[7]

Hornung's later stories in the A. J. Raffles series achieved much more popularity than A Bride from the Bush.[8] Nonetheless, he himself liked A Bride from the Bush and his other Australian stories better than those of Raffles.[9] When he published the novel Peccavi in 1900, a critic from The Advertiser wrote a scathing review, writing that Hornung should go back to Australia so he would be inspired to write something as good as A Bride from the Bush again.[10] Upon Hornung's death, a tribute in Freeman's Journal called A Bride from the Bush "the best and the best known" of Hornung's Australia-related stories.[11] In 1924 André Cœuroy and Theodore Baker argued in The Musical Quarterly that Hornung's characterisation of the novel's hero as being pitiable for being unable to appreciate anthems demonstrates that A Bride from the Bush is typical of other novels of the time in favouring vocal church music.[12]


  1. ^ Alison Cox. "E. W. Hornung". British Mystery Writers, 1860-1919. Dictionary of Literary Biography (Gale) 70: 172. 
  2. ^ Jennifer Gariepy, ed. (1985). "E.W. Hornung". Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 59. Detroit: Gale. ISBN 0-8103-9303-4. 
  3. ^ Peter Rowland (1999). Raffles and His Creator: The Life and Works of E. W. Hornung. London: Nekta Publications. p. 40. 
  4. ^ Stephen Knight. "Hornung, Ernest William (1866–1921)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Publishing. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "A Bride from the Bush". The New York Times. 6 February 1897. p. 7. 
  6. ^ "Our Anglo-Colonial Letter". The Chronicle: 19. 23 September 1893. 
  7. ^ "Our Booking-Office". Punch: 197. 25 April 1891. 
  8. ^ "The Reviewer". The Morning Bulletin: 8. 1 November 1926. 
  9. ^ Eric Gunton (28 April 1945). "How Australian Knew "Raffles"". The Argus: 12S. 
  10. ^ "Literary Notes from London". The Advertiser: 6. 23 January 1901. 
  11. ^ "Raffles and His Creator: The Passing of E. W. Hornung". Freeman's Journal: 13. 16 June 1921. 
  12. ^ André Cœuroy; Theodore Baker (July 1924). "Musical Inspiration in English Literature of the Nineteenth Century". The Musical Quarterly 10 (3): 324.